Big-time college football is down to its final four teams for its version of the national championship.
Did the committee which determined the four “best” teams get it right? Probably, but that is not the point of this editorial.
Here is the point:
At Clemson, the “estimated” costs for 2016-2017 is $25,160 per year for a full-time resident and $45,042 for a non-resident. (From www.clemson.edu.)
At Oklahoma, the “Required Tuition and Fees Fall 2017-Spring 2018” is $11,284.50 for a resident and for a $26,665.50 for a non-resident. (From www.ou.edu.)
At Georgia, the “2017-2018 Estimated Cost of Attendance” for a resident is $26,404 and $45,688 for an out-of-state resident. (From www.admissions.uga.edu.)
At Alabama, for the 2017-2018 academic year, the “total direct and indirect” cost for an in-state student is $30,184 and for an out-of-state student it is $48,634.
See where we are going here?
For the most part, student-athletes competing for big-time college football’s biggest prize do not have to worry about these costs. Nor will they ever have to spend a second worrying about how they will pay for their college diploma.
If only college students without the hyphen-athlete next to their title could be as fortunate, not to mention their parents.
Here is some more perspective for those claiming big-time college football players need to be paid — as if they are not already by receiving a free education, room and board and books. (And let’s be honest — college football players are treated like kings on campus compared to regular Joe Blow Student, who does not have access to world class training, nutrition, medical care and exercise facilities — all at no cost to the student-athlete.)
The NCAA — the governing body for major college sports — raked in nearly $1 billion in total revenue in 2014. That is a significant chunk of change — no doubt.
However, student loan debt is $1.3 trillion. That is trillion with a capital “T.”
In other words, the amount of money students owe in order to get a college degree dwarfs the money bringing brought in by college athletes, who do not have to pay for their college degree.
In 2016, the average student with a student loan had more than $30,000 in debt. For 2015, the average NFL salary was $2.1 million.
There is a reason many parents scrimp and save for their children’s college education. And there is a reason student loan debt in America is higher than credit card debt. (Think about that for a minute.)
Student-athletes should realize the value of a free college education.